A Weight Loss Prayer

I’ve been eating like a high school linebacker lately. Before I moved to Louisiana, I was a clean-eating machine, and the weight was dropping at a steady clip. I landed here in the Bayou State smack-dab in the middle of Christmas season. “I’ll get on-track after the holidays,” I said. Well…it’s mid-March, and I’m still “celebrating,” and the scale is creeping upward.

It’s time to get back on-track.

I have 60 pounds to lose, and 2016 is the year to do it.

Here’s the thing…I love to eat. And another thing…Louisiana knows how to cook some scrumptious stuff. Shreveport cuisine is the perfect blend of Southern home cookin’ and Cajun faire.

It’s hard to abstain from all the goodies, and I’m not too good at doing things in moderation.

I need God’s wisdom and strength to lose this weight. No, shrinking my thunder thighs is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of life. But placing food in its proper place is important to my physical and spiritual health.

I run to food for comfort when I should run to God.

I eat too much, and the Bible calls gluttony a sin.

I lack discipline, and self-control is a fruit the Holy Spirit wants to display in all Believers.

What do you think? Do you think God wants us to pray about things like weight loss?

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT).

I think He wants us to talk to Him about everything. That’s what the pray-without-ceasing life is all about.

Do you need to get back on the weight loss wagon? Let’s pray about it.


Thank you for food. It fuels our bodies. It sits us around tables with people we love. It caters to our unique tastes. Food is a good thing. 

But too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. We need Your help to keep food in its proper place. 

“Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake” (Psalm 79:9 NIV).

Help us run to You, not food, for comfort.

You are the “God of all comfort,” so we can come to You with every kind of hurt, every type of stress, everything that clouds our countenance (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Lord, you alone are [our] portion and [our] cup; you make [our] lot secure” (Psalm 16:5 NIV). We can trust You to fill us with deep-soul satisfaction that lasts far longer than that extra slice of pizza. Help us, Lord, to taste and see that You are good (Psalm 34:8).

Help us to take the sin of gluttony as seriously as the sins we’d never think of committing.

It’s so easy to think of some sins as more severe than others and then get smug that we’ve never committed the whoppers. This is not truth; it’s deception. Jesus died for our sins…all of them. When we trivialize sin, we trivialize His sacrifice. Forgive us, Lord. Help us repent and turn from the sins of gluttony…of greed for food.

We “have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:18 NIV). May nothing rule over us but You.

Help us develop self-control, so we can form healthy habits.

“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:28 NIV). In Solomon’s day, cities without sturdy wall were magnets for chaos. Oh, Lord, calm the chaos of our out-of-control appetites!

Give us wisdom about how to develop healthy habits. Help us learn to enjoy healthy foods and to look forward to regular exercise. Give us the self-control to stick to our health plans without letting our plans control us. Just as food can be a sinful snare, so can our rigid plans if we let them become more important than our relationship with You.

Paul warned Timothy of how people will be in the last days:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV).

Oh, Lord, we don’t want to see ourselves in those verses, but we do. Help us, Lord, to turn from our sin and let Your power show in how we temper our appetites and train our bodies. Grow the fruit of the Spirit ripe and thick in us. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25 NIV).

That last line deserves repeating. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Walk with us, Lord, as seek to honor You in every part of our life, especially our weight loss journeys.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN

Are you ready to get back on-track with a healthy life style? I’d love to pray for you as I pray for myself. Leave a comment and let me know what healthy changes you are making. We can do this! 




New Chapter

New chapters are tricky sometimes, especially when the old chapter was super long and super good. You get used to the setting and characters of the old chapter. You’re invested. Attached. Comfortable. Then, all-of-a-sudden, you find yourself on the last page. The only thing to do is move on to the next chapter of the same story to see where the author will go with the plot line.

I joined a new church yesterday. A loving church. A hugging church. An about-the-Father’s-business church. From the first visit, I felt safe, welcomed and loved. The pastor and several sweet ladies remembered my name on my second visit. The worship music is simple, honest and skillful. The congregation shows that missions is a top priority both in their giving and in their action.

I know I made the right choice, and, believe me, there are lots of choices in a Bible belt town. I’m excited to make new friends and to serve God in both familiar and brand-new ways. My mom joined a week before I did, and she’s already signed up to go on a day trip to Dallas with the Happy Hearts Senior Adult group. Go, Murph, Go!

But I can’t help but grieve over moving my membership from my Arizona church. Oh, how I miss those precious people.

I remember the day we joined First Southern Baptist Church of Mesa, more than 18 years ago. After dragging our two preschoolers to several local churches, we stumbled upon First Southern. We knew right away that we’d found our church home. A loving church. A hugging church. An about-the-Father’s-business church.

Those two preschoolers and their baby brother grew up in that church. Cliff and I served side-by-side in that church. Our family made life-long friends in that church.

Over the years, First Southern became known as the Heart of Mesa, and I’ve watched the church reflect that name more each year. They don’t wait for people to come through the church doors. They share Christ’s heart all over town all week long.

When my marriage broke apart, my church family broke my fall. They prayed for me. They helped me move and move again…and again. They fed me in every sense of the word. And they didn’t consider my broken marriage a disqualifier. Praise God, I was able to keep serving, which was one of the few things in my life that remained consistent over that painful season. I’ve heard many stories from other women in my situation whose churches heaped judgment, not grace, on their already over-burdened hearts.

I will never forget the love. Never.

And now, I’m a shiny new member of Woodridge Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Yesterday, as sat by the pastor’s wife filling out the membership card, I got a little weepy. I accidentally circled the “Mrs.” title and had to scribble it out and write in “Ms.” Old habits die hard, I guess.

“My pastor’s wife in Arizona is one of my dearest friends, ” I muttered. “Eighteen years is a long time at one church.”

“Yes, it is,” my new pastor’s wife quietly agreed. Her compassion showed.

The worship pastor snapped my picture for the new member board, and dozens of church members…my new church family…filed by to welcome me home. It’s going to be good. I know it.


Thank you for new chapters. And thank you for not faulting us for grieving a bit when chapters come to an end. I marvel at the way You made our hearts. Big enough for us to hurt and hope at the same time. Life’s like that.

I’m excited, Lord, to see what this new chapter holds. New setting. New characters and a few returning ones from a long-ago chapter I remember with smiles. No matter where the plot progresses in this story…our story…I know You’ll be with me. And that’s all I need to know.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN